I had such a lovely weekend. I didn’t want it to end and normal life to begin again.
I went to Fingal Bay, in Port Stephens, with some old friends. They head there every Easter for a week and I’ve been admiring their happy snaps for years, so they organised for me to enjoy the magic.
After checking the weather forecast – a week of torrential rain, starting Saturday – the youngest and I decided to head up on Friday morning with her bestie to catch a few rays before the deluge.
I’m so glad we did, because it literally, no filter, looked like THIS:
I know, right? You won’t be surprised to hear it was named one of Tourism Australia’s top 20 beaches of 2020.
DD arrived at dusk and we all gathered beside the beach with bubbles and nibbles. As we sipped, whales started leaping and frolicking on the horizon. It was crazy, pinch yourself gorgeous.
The next morning, the grown ups decided to walk the length of the beach to the sand spit that separates the mainland from Fingal Island.
It’s where this scene from Lara Bingle’s famous “Where the bloody hell are you?” 2006 commercial was filmed. Bet you thought the ad was set in the Whitsundays or something.
At low tide it’s possible to walk across the Fingal spit to explore the island and its lighthouse, but we were a bit late and turned back to avoid becoming statistics (the local newspaper reports there have been “umpteen deaths” from people being swept into the sea there).
While it was an overcast, drizzly day, it was still glorious, so DD had a quick dip and lived to tell the tale. I decided to wait until we were back between the flags:
(With DD also there to keep an extra pair of eyes on me.)
Afterwards, we went to the Longboat cafe at the surf club for prawn fritters, then some of the gang had to head off due to work commitments.
In the afternoon, DD and I drove to Shoal Bay to tackle the Tomaree Head Summit Walk. I was very glad that it wasn’t a hot day, because it was a very sweaty climb. But the views were spectacular.
Afterwards, we cooled off with a swim at Zenith Beach (the closest beach in the picture on the left, above), before having a pizza dinner at the Cellar Cafe.
As we ate, we reminisced about our dining companions visiting me when I was living in New York about 12 years. Later, they sent over some pics of the youngest and her son playing in a fountain on the Upper West Side.
We also had a laugh about our lunch at a midtown restaurant called Mars 2112.
We entered the restaurant via a simulated rocket ship ride, arriving at a Mars-themed dining space. The waiters were dressed up as aliens to serve the customers and it scared the living shite out of my two-year-old, who screamed the place down when one of them tried to make friends.
“No like da aliens! No like da aliens!” she wailed at the top of her voice.
After being sent a reminder pic of Darren and Kirsten’s son with one of the aliens I can kinda understand her screams.
Sunday morning dawned very soggy in Fingal, so we packed up and headed home early. I felt about as grey as the skies about going back to Sydney. I‘m still pretty shattered by my unemployed single mum status.
But two days away in Fingal was very good for my soul and it was lovely to have DD spooning me during our two nights in paradise.
Song of the day: Dragon “Young years”